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  1. #1
    SewingDeb's Avatar
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    MI - Amber Koomen, 16, Grand Rapids, 16 July 2006

    WALKER -- Police say a body discovered Monday night matches the description of a teenager who went missing more than a week ago.

    Eight days ago, police sent out an "attempt to locate" bulletin for 16-year-old Amber Koomen. Police tell 24 Hour News 8 she left her northwest Grand Rapids home July 16. Her friends told police she went to go meet someone at Richmond Park in Grand Rapids. Then the next day, a groundskeeper at a nearby cemetery found Koomen's cell phone.

    At the time, investigators said Koomen has run away before, but this time her disappearance was suspicious. "I'm not prepared to say this is an absolute homicide. I'm not prepared because the medical examiners office has not ruled," said Deputy Chief Steven Dyke.

    Then Monday night, two Grand Rapids police officers found a body near the banks of Indian Mill Creek, just west of the park. Investigators say the body had been there for a couple of days.

    Authorities say an autopsy, which was performed Tuesday morning, confirmed the identity. Police say there are no signs of trauma and no exact cause of death. They are still calling the case suspicious.

    ~more at link~

  2. #2
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    Man arrested for Amber Koomen's murder

    http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5212663

    GRAND RAPIDS -- Detectives and crime scene specialists with a search warrant swarmed a small, red house on Grand Rapids' northwest side during the dinner hour Friday night. They were looking for evidence in the slaying of 16-year-old Amber Koomen, whose body was found in Richmond Park near the house on Dunlap NW.

    They already had in custody Joseph David Swackhammer, the man they believe killed Amber. A reluctant tipster came forward Thursday and led police to the man and the house where Swackhammer, 26, lived.

    A friend of the witness asked for help from our own Target 8 Investigators, who convinced the witness to come forward, and then called police on his behalf Thursday morning.

    Within 30 minutes, four detectives were listening to what the witness had to say. He told them he saw Amber getting into a car with Swackhammer July 16, the night she vanished.

    Police moved quickly. By Friday afternoon they questioned Swackhammer and apparently got a confession.

    Grand Rapids Police Captain Jeff Hertel said the suspect "has made some admissions to his involvement with Amber."

  3. #3
    SewingDeb's Avatar
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    Witness in Koomen case talks

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14127164/

    GRAND RAPIDS -- 24 Hour News 8 is learning more about the connection between 16-year-old Amber Koomen and the man police say killed her and possible sexually assaulted her.

    26-year-old Joseph Swackhammer was charged for the crimes formally in a Grand Rapids courtroom Monday. Court documents show it happened on July 17th, Koomen was last seen alive jumping into Swackhammer's car.

    It was that once-reluctant witness who made the link between Koomen and her alleged killer.

    A friend of the witness, Dave McLain contacted a Target 8 investigator who then talked with McLain and convinced him to come forward. McLain said he knew both victim and suspect from the neighborhood and saw her get into the car that night.

    "The few things that led me finally telling somebody was I knew he was the last person that she was with that I new about and then I found out that he lived right near the area where they found a lot of the evidence," said McLain.

  4. #4
    SewingDeb's Avatar
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    Earlier article (July 24th)

    http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?s=5176101

    Teen's disappearance is suspicious


    GRAND RAPIDS -- Police in Grand Rapids are looking for a 16-year-old girl who has been missing for three days.

    Police say Amber Koomen has run away before, but have found evidence that makes her disappearance look suspicious.

    Investigators say Koomen was last seen Sunday night by friends in the area of Bridge Street and Pine Avenue NW. They say she may have gone to Richmond Park a few hours later to meet a friend.

    Monday morning, a groundskeeper at Washington Park Memorial Gardens found Koomen's cell phone.

    "We're trying to get a hold of her friends, track her down that way. Finding the cell phone in the cemetery leads us to think we have to do more," said Capt. Jeffrey Hertel of the Grand Rapids Police Department.

  5. #5
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    Mental Exam Ordered For Suspected Killer

    Mental exam ordered for suspected killer

    http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/in...710.xml&coll=6

  6. #6
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    Man arrested for Amber Koomen's murder

    I also posted this in the located thead for the missing.

    Man arrested for Amber Koomen's murder

    http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5212663

    GRAND RAPIDS -- Detectives and crime scene specialists with a search warrant swarmed a small, red house on Grand Rapids' northwest side during the dinner hour Friday night. They were looking for evidence in the slaying of 16-year-old Amber Koomen, whose body was found in Richmond Park near the house on Dunlap NW.

    They already had in custody Joseph David Swackhammer, the man they believe killed Amber. A reluctant tipster came forward Thursday and led police to the man and the house where Swackhammer, 26, lived.

    A friend of the witness asked for help from our own Target 8 Investigators, who convinced the witness to come forward, and then called police on his behalf Thursday morning.

    Within 30 minutes, four detectives were listening to what the witness had to say. He told them he saw Amber getting into a car with Swackhammer July 16, the night she vanished.

    Police moved quickly. By Friday afternoon they questioned Swackhammer and apparently got a confession.

    Grand Rapids Police Captain Jeff Hertel said the suspect "has made some admissions to his involvement with Amber."

    Some earlier links:

    Teen's disappearance is suspicious
    http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?s=5176101

    Missing teen's body found
    http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?s=5191820

    and a more recent link:
    Mental Exam Ordered for Murder Suspect


    I had not heard that she had been missing. So sad for her family.






    Mental exam ordered for suspected killer

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewingDeb
    Mental exam ordered for suspected killer

    http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/in...710.xml&coll=6


    I hope they don't try and say that he is insane. I wonder if he has a documented history of mental illness? I hope not.

  8. #8
    SewingDeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbisangel
    I hope they don't try and say that he is insane. I wonder if he has a documented history of mental illness? I hope not.
    It sounds like there is:
    A judge asked about justification for the evaluation and whether Swackhammer has any history of mental issues.

    "There is some history, your honor, and because of the nature of the offense," defense attorney Richard Hillary replied.

    (from the last link I posted above)

    Sorry I didn't answer sooner, but my internet services has been up and down for over a week and I have been enthralled in the JonBenet case developments during what little time I could get online.

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    I wonder if they have done the eval yet? I'm really curious to see what is supposed to be wrong with the man.

  10. #10
    SewingDeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbisangel
    I wonder if they have done the eval yet? I'm really curious to see what is supposed to be wrong with the man.
    They probably have done it, but I'm not sure we will hear any more until the preliminary hearing. I don't see anything new on this.

    This is such a sad case.


  11. #11
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    From March 2007:

    http://archive.wzzm13.com/news/artic...alker-teenager

    The man who pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of a 16-year-old Walker teen was sentenced today and will spend the rest of his life in prison...

    The judge also sentenced Swackhammer to 80 to 120 months for sexual assault and ordered him to pay $7,000 to Amber's family for her funeral.



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